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Roz Purcell’s eye-opening trip to Mexico: “It was hard for me to grasp”

The model joined World Vision to see the lives of young people in the country.

She learned a lot from her experience
She learned a lot from her experience

Roz Purcell has opened up about a recent trip to Mexico, admitting she struggled to grasp some of the things she witnessed.

The model joined World Vision, to see first hand how children and young people live over that side of the world, and writing in a column for the Sunday Independent’s Life Magazine, she revealed that it was an eye opening experience.

“So many young kids in Mexico feel that joining a gang is their only way out. They see it as such an easy way to make money. The most disturbing thing I was told when it came to gangs was that the average lifespan of someone once they join a gang is 37 days. The challenge is trying to get through to the kids that joining a gang is not, in fact, a way out,” she said.

Roz learned that if they’re not joining gangs, children are left to fend for themselves or work instead of going to school and getting an education.

She said, “A lot of children told me that their parents are never around and they are left idle to go on the streets; they fend for themselves. Their childhood is, in effect, stolen from them.”

Roz during another trip with World Vision
Roz during another trip with World Vision

The charity she went with, World Vision, try rectify this, teaching both children and parents the importance of education, children’s rights and prevention of gang violence.

As her trip went on, despite having an initial idea of how bad it was for the young people in the country, Roz soon learned the actual scale of how terrible things really were:

“I slowly began to unfold the hidden cracks that Mexico had kept from me. With poor infrastructure, poverty, unreliable water and electricity, transport and violence, the ones suffering the most here are clearly the youth.”

Despite the hardships they endure, the Irish model revealed it was refreshing to see how motivated the young people are, regardless of the lack of opportunities which are available to them.

“The females of the group were the clear leaders in the conversation, and was taken aback by the little group of empowering women that sat next to me. They yearned for success, they hungered for change, they were educated on their rights and they weren’t going to let anything stop them,” she said.

And good for them!

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